Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association (NAOWA)
The Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association (NAOWA) is a philanthropic, Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) whose membership is only through a legitimate marriage to a serving commissioned officer of the Nigerian Army. NAOWA began in the 1950s as Army Wives Association (AWA) when the British officers were in control of the colonial Nigerian Army. Mrs Welby Everald the wife of the then Army Chief of Staff, Gen Welby Everald was the first National President of the Association. She encouraged officers’ wives to donate to orphanages, thus forming the basis for the modern aim and objectives of the Association. On attainment of Nigeria’s republican status in 1963 the nomenclature was changed to Nigerian Army Officer’s Wives Association (NAOWA). Mrs Victoria Aguiyi Ironsi was the first indigenous President of the Association. Since then, NAOWA had been headed by 26 distinguished successive National Presidents with varying length of tenure including the incumbent National President Mrs Umma-Kalsum Tukur Buratai. Traditionally, a woman whose husband is appointed the Chief of Army Staff is automatically the National President of the association.
The National President is assisted by a national executive comprising of the office of the Deputy National President, National Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Chief Whip, National Sport Coordinator, Head of Media/Publicity and the National Secretary. This hierarchy is replicated at all levels of command up to battalion level. For instance, at the Divisional Level, the wife of the General Officer Commanding is the Divisional President of the Chapter.
Since its establishment, NAOWA has been in the vanguard of the provision of community health centres to complement the health care delivery services and carefully designed welfare programmes that are targeted at women, youths, children and the less privileged in Nigeria. It also support government and other agencies in the provision of self-help projects, vocational training and skills acquisition programmes, periodic donation of relief materials to ‘Homes’ for the motherless, elderly and destitute. It advocates intensely on the education of the ‘Girl Child Education’ by constructing Nursery, Primary and Secondary Schools with emphasis on the enrolment of more females in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
World Association of Non-Governmental Organizationsa (WANGO)